Rum is typically associated with winters, however, that doesn’t mean the drink can’t be enjoyed all year round.

Come to think of it, it’s had all the time in the Caribbean, where it’s hot all through the year. For many, this miracle from molasses is a favourite tipple and they won’t trade it for the best of malts. But there also exists a class of people who cannot seem to enjoy the strong spirit as much. The good news for them is that there is a variety of cocktails out there, which don’t leave you with a dreadful aftermath.

It’s time to delete memories of knocking back low-quality rum shots in dark nightclubs from the mental bank because the spirit does have so much to offer the curious drinker. Naturally, the best way to nosedive into rum (or any spirit) is to sample its different varieties neat, but cocktails are a more palatable starting point to broaden your horizons. They don’t have to be tiki-style, tropical beverages because rum’s bodied profile lends itself well to a number of timeless classics.

Here are some of our favourite rum cocktails to get started.

Rum and Tonic

Tonic water’s bittersweet goodness is not just gin’s best friend. It does plenty when added to a shot of rum as well, and offers an easy avenue for rum enjoyment that one can even mix at home. Whether it is dark or light rum, pair your poison with tonic water that’s lower in sugar, and finish the drink with a squeeze of lime.

Rum Old Fashioned

best rum cocktails
Rum Old Fashioned. (Photo credit: Adam Jaime/Unsplash)

Everyone loves an Old Fashioned, and rum makes a worthy replacement as the base spirit for this classic. Swap whiskey in favour of a drier dark rum if you’re making this at home, or place trust in the hands of the bartender when you order it at your next after-hours session.

El Presidente

Though the origins of the El Presidente are a touch hazy, most credit the rum cocktail to Eddie Woelke, a bartender who escaped Prohibition in the U.S.A, and found himself in Cuba. Made with light rum, orange curaćao, dry vermouth and grenadine, this refreshing treat is a crowd-pleaser that begs to be your next favourite sundowner.


best rum cocktails
Coconut Daiquiri by Origin Bar, Singapore. (Photo credit: Origin Bar)

Daquiris tend to be synonymous with the oversized, overly sweet adult slushies that are a dime a dozen on beach resorts and island bars. If we trace the recipe back to its original, the daiquiri is more simple than saccharine. Rum, lime juice and simple syrup are all it takes to make a tangy thirst-quencher that demands seconds.

Cable Car

Created by cocktail legend Tony Abou-Ganim, this rum cocktail has its provenance in San Francisco’s iconic rooftop bar, Starlight Room. Coupling spiced rum with orange curaçao and lemon juice, the Cable Car is made to please fans of sours.